Sunday, February 1, 2009
As most know, tickets to the inauguration were free, but you had to contact your Congressperson. It's been well documented that demand was far greater than supply. I took a chance and called my former employer, Senator Amy Klobuchar's office. (Here's my disclaimer for those who don't know. I worked for Senator Amy Klobuchar as her campaign manager when she was Hennepin County Attorney. She wasn't yet running for Senator, but was running for everything at once.) I was told to send an email stating my case, how many were in my party and who, and why we wanted to go. I think I remember hearing that there were 5000 requests for tickets and she only had 365. Our other metro area congresspersons, Betty McCollom and Keith Ellison both got 12 times more requests than they had tickets for.
When I received the confirmation email at work that fateful day, I think my co-workers on the 3rd floor could hear me screaming from the First Floor. I was elated, shocked, and it solidified that, “Man, I might actually get to go to this.” Sure, plane tickets were bought, but I always felt like something might stand in our way of actually getting there. I also assumed that having some place to stand, a section, a patch of grass, would make it seem official. Like I was really there, counted maybe, instead of just being out on the mall where it would be every man for himself. That's what I thought. And boy, in hindsight, was I wrong. Soon to be dubbed The Golden Tickets by the media, we knew we had secured something special…or did we?
I soon received an invitation to Senator Klobuchar’s office for “A Reception for Minnesotans attending the Inauguration”. It was from 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Monday, the day before the inauguration, at the Hart Senate office building Room 302. The email instructed that those of us, who received tickets through Amy’s office, should plan to pick them up during the reception.
Joe, Scott, Jen and I spent the morning lazing around. I actually slept until 10:00AM! Those of you who are parents understand the outrageousness of this statement. Joe got up at 8:00 for 2 hours of uninterrupted reading time. Scott was still struggling with some jet lag issues from PAKISTAN and had no problem sleeping in. We flew in the night before and missed the "We Are One" concert. How were we to know that the Concert of the Century would be planned exactly during our flight time? After a mid-morning breakfast at Brueggar's Bagels accompanied by lively conversation about parenting, Pakistani culture vs. Russian, and the similarities of non-profits, we showered and headed to the train for our first ride into the capitol and to Amy's office.
The two images you see posted here, are the instructions that came with our tickets. We were assigned to the BLUE ticketed area and we were able secure tickets for Scott and Jen in the SILVER area.